Despite LGBTQ people being severely underrepresented in public office, a significant number of Republicans believe that it would be worse for any more to get elected to Congress.
Around one in three Republicans (34%) said that it would be a “bad thing” for more LGBTQ people to be elected to Congress, an Insider/Morning Consult poll found. Republican men were even more hostile to LGBTQ representation (40% said more would be a bad thing) than Republican women (29%) in the poll’s results.
Only 15% of Republicans said it would be a “good thing” for there to be more LGBTQ representation in Congress.
Democrats, on the other hand, were much more supportive of getting more LGBTQ people into Congress, with 59% saying it would be a “good thing” to have more and only 10% saying it would be a “bad thing.”
“With representation, the only thing that stuck out to me is just the massive, massive gap about whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing to elevate LGBTQ Americans between Democrats and Republicans,” said Morning Consult senior reporter Eli Yokley. “The share who say it’s a bad thing, it’s like a third of Republicans say it’s a bad thing. That’s a pretty big number on that kind of question.”
There are currently 11 members of Congress – nine in the House, two in the Senate – who are out as LGBTQ.
While pinning down the exact number of LGBTQ people is a difficult task, a 2021 Gallup poll found that 5.6% of American adults were willing to tell a pollster they’re LGBTQ in some way. If 5.6% of Congress were LGBTQ too, there would be 30 out members of Congress, almost three times as many as there are now.
Broken down by generation, the poll found that Baby Boomers (with 34% saying more LGBTQ representation is a good thing compared to 24% saying it’s a bad thing) and Gen Xers (34% to 23%) showed the weakest support for more LGBTQ people in Congress, while Millennials (42% to 15%) and Gen Zers (54% to 12%) were more supportive. Only older members of Gen Z were asked since the poll was of Americans over the age of 18.
People who were more educated, lived in urban or suburban areas, and weren’t Christian were more likely to support LGBTQ representation in Congress, but the results were similar across income categories.
Among non-Christians, atheists were the most supportive of more LGBTQ representation (73% to 5%). Among Christians, Evangelicals were the most opposed (24% to 34%).
2210 adults participated in the poll, which was conducted between September 8 and 10, 2022.